Tag Archives: cartoon

Reviewing Looney Tunes: Forward March Hare (1953)

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Released: February 14th, 1953

Directed by: Chuck Jones (credited as Charles M. Jones)

Bugs Bunny has been put in some interesting situations over the years: he’s encountered Martians, evaded hunters and even been made a Super-Rabbit. But would you believe he was also drafted into the Army? It really happened in Forward March Hare, a cartoon released during the final months of the Korean War. Due to a comedy of errors (mistaking a draft letter sent to “B. Bonny” as being for him), Bugs is summarily inducted into the United States Army and proceeds to (unwittingly) wreak havoc, much to the chagrin of his drill sergeant.

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This is the army?

One of the most hysterical gags in this cartoon is that almost no one seems to realize that Bugs is a rabbit (the one soldier who does at the beginning merely looks at the camera and mutters “So they’re inducting rabbits.”) Another running gag is the drill sergeant slowly but surely getting demoted for each mess Bugs makes (he’s a buck private by the end of the cartoon, the realization that Bugs is a rabbit finally pushes him over the edge). Another favorite moment is when Bugs is shocked awake by the blaring of “Reveille” and vows to “moider that bugler,” running to silence the music with a baseball bat. For some reason, every time I watch that moment I imagine a theater full of soldiers bursting into laughter and cheers (having secretly wished to do the deed themselves).

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Upon being discovered and informed that rabbits cannot serve in the military, Bugs is given a new job: testing artillery shells to see if they’re duds. He happily informs the audience “In 30 years I can retire!” but the joke is that, given his job, he likely won’t make it that long.

Forward March Hare is a wonderful example of Warner Bros. animation in its prime (before the quality dropped in the 1960s). They certainly don’t make cartoons like this anymore. Let me know what you think about Forward March Hare in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Reviewing Looney Tunes

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Reviewing Looney Tunes: Hair-Raising Hare (1946)

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Released: May 25th, 1946

Directed by: Chuck Jones (credited as Charles M. Jones)

Hair-Raising Hare is the debut of one of my favorite Looney Tunes characters: the huge, red, furry, sneaker-wearing monster. He’s been known by several names over the decades: “Monster,” “Rudolph,” and “Gossamer” though in this first appearance he doesn’t appear to have a given name. For some reason, the sight of this huge monster has always elicited a fit of giggles from me (I think it has something to do with the sneakers, they look so incongruous).

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The plot is simple: Bugs is lured to a mad scientist’s castle (how do these mad scientists always have castles?) to be dinner for the aforementioned monster. When Bugs gets wise to this plan, he makes a break for it and the chase is on (interestingly, the scientist is not seen again for the rest of the short). The rest of the cartoon follows Bugs as he outwits and evades the monster, before finally subduing the monster by breaking the fourth wall (making the monster aware of the audience watching him).

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This cartoon has one of Bugs Bunny’s best known gags: at one point he stalls the monster by pretending to be a stylist who declares the monster needs a manicure. Suddenly Bugs whips out a table, chairs and begins to file the monsters nails, all while holding a conversation that you might hear in a nail salon. This is Bugs in pure mischief mode; once he gets over his initial fright, the monster doesn’t stand a chance.

I feel like Gossamer (the furry monster) doesn’t get enough attention compared to better known characters so I like to bring attention to him when I can. Let me know what you think about Hair-Raising Hare in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Reviewing Looney Tunes

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Admitting I was wrong about Steven Universe (2013-present)

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Two notes here: 1) I know I said this would be weekly, but I couldn’t hold back my thoughts on this series any longer and 2) Yes, Steven Universe is television and not film, but it’s really good regardless!!!!

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The first thing I need to say about Steven Universe is: I was wrong. I completely misjudged this show, so much in fact that I sometimes feel really bad about it.

Backstory: In the last post, I said that I’m really picky about which movies I watch; this is DOUBLY true for cartoons. When you’re raised on Golden Age cartoons like Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry (not to mention the renaissance of the 90s), the bar is set really, REALLY high. In the last five years or so, I’d noticed Cartoon Network churning out a lot of what I liked to call “dumb-stupid cartoons.” These are series that have minimal plot but a LOT of really bad/raunchy jokes (I won’t name any names, but if you look at a listing of recent shows, they kind of stand out). And when Steven Universe was announced, I instantly pegged it as one of those cartoons. So I ignored it.

Fast forward to the end of 2015: all of my comic book friends began raving about Steven Universe, and when I let it slip that I hadn’t seen the show, they all begged me to check it out. I resisted for most of 2016, until last month, I finally gave in and checked it out (the first two seasons are on Hulu). It took three episodes but I.Was.Hooked.

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From left to right: Pearl, Amethyst and Garnet

Despite the name of the show, this series isn’t dumb at all! Quite the opposite actually, the backstory is increasingly complex and the show deals with some pretty serious issues at times (racism, war, bullying, etc.) while also spreading positive messages about making friends, cooperation, overcoming hatred, and so on.

Here is the gist of Steven Universe: The Earth is protected by a trio of heroes called the Crystal Gems, Amethyst, Garnet and Pearl. They are aliens from the Gem Homeworld that fought against their own kind over 1000 years ago (under their leader Rose Quartz) to keep the Earth safe. About 10 years before the show starts, Rose (in love with a human named Greg Universe) surrendered her physical form to make her son, Steven. Steven is a Gem/human hybrid who has his mother’s Gem where his belly button should be. As the show goes on, Steven learns to harness his powers while facing a growing threat from the Gem Homeworld (which is still seeking to conquer the Earth for its resources). Along the way Steven has made friends with additional gems including Peridot (whom I LOVE!!!) and Lapis Lazuli, both gems that originally come from Homeworld.

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Lapis Lazuli is blue, Peridot is the green short one and that’s Steven on the end

A really cool part of the show is fusion, where two Gems can fuse together to create a totally new Gem! For example, Garnet (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) is actually a fusion of Ruby and Sapphire, they just prefer staying fused together, though they will separate occasionally from time to time for various reasons. Pearl and Amethyst can form Opal, Pearl and Garnet can form Sardonyx, all three of them can form Alexandrite and just recently, I discovered that Steven and Amethyst can fuse to form Smoky Quartz (there’s more but I don’t want to give ALL the fusions away).

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I’m nearly caught up with the series now and I still can’t get over how wrong I was about this show. The one thing I wish was different is the episode lengths. Each episode is 11-12 minutes in length, which isn’t that long at all. I wish the episodes could be longer!

It looks like eventually we’re going to be seeing the Gem Homeworld and (hopefully) meet the mysterious Diamonds who run everything (they’re called White Diamond, Yellow Diamond and Blue Diamond, but except for a few mentions and a sort-of flashback to Yellow Diamond, we haven’t actually SEEN any of them. There used to be Pink Diamond too, until Rose Quartz shattered her, it’s kind of a long story).

In closing, I’m really glad I gave this show a chance; it just goes to show you shouldn’t (with some exceptions) judge a show on its name only. If you haven’t seen Steven Universe, please go check it out!!

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